Best Healthcare Provider Partnership with the NHS 
Best Healthcare Provider Partnership with the NHS 

How to apply

Entries are now closed

For many years, the NHS has worked with independent healthcare providers to help at times of high demand. Outsourcing some procedures has been commonplace but more recently patients have been able to choose to go to private providers under Patient Choice. Private companies have played a major role in running treatment centres and, most recently, they have won tenders for whole services – most notably in the community services sector.  

In mental health, learning disability and other sectors independent providers are intrinsic to the delivery of quality for NHS service users and often been at the forefront of innovation. 

This award will go to a company which has helped the NHS by providing excellent – and ideally pioneering – services, perhaps responding to a local need for increased capacity or for provision of a service which is not available through NHS local providers or have developed a pathway which meets patients’ needs. The quality of care and the level of access offered to patients are also likely to be factors in the judges’ decisions.   


  • A project with the NHS which can be supported by recent evidence from the past 2 years up until the awards deadline date 
  • Private businesses and healthcare providers working in partnership with NHS providers, commissioners or integrated care  


  • Describe the context in which an external healthcare provider was required, for example, a need for increased capacity or specialist treatment  
  • Explain the solution and how the partners worked together to ensure this was more cost effective and the patient better served than working alone.  
  • Outline the targets set to measure the effectiveness of the proposed solution and the steps put in place to achieve them. 


  • Show clear and demonstrable benefits to patient outcomes including improved patient experience, waiting time reduction, capacity increase and treatment pathways.  
  • Provide qualitative and quantitative evidence of how the NHS organisation benefited in terms of staffing, cost, reducing inefficiencies and ability to provide services.  
  • Describe any innovative practices which have created beneficial outcomes. 


  • If the partnership has proven a success have any of the best practice elements or methodologies been adopted elsewhere by either partner?  
  • What efforts have been made to disseminate success outside of commercial arrangements for the benefit of patients and staff?   
  • Judges will be looking for examples, supported with evidence of take up from other organisations even if neither partner was involved in execution.  


  • How was the introduction of a healthcare provider from outside the NHS received by other teams within the organisation, and how were any apprehension or reservations addressed? 
  • Provide demonstrable evidence of comprehensive stakeholder engagement with testimonials and project planning examples.  
  • How was the impact of the partnership on wider departments and organisations handled and how were those teams managed within the scope of the project?  


  • To what extent has the partnership led to material and measurable improvements in both financial and non-monetary value?  
  • If the project cost the NHS organisation more money than providing the services itself, how have the benefits outweighed the costs?  
  • Judges will be looking for evidence which demonstrates reduced bureaucracy, streamlined patient experience, improvements in capacity and staff satisfaction.  

To find out more

For entry enquiries, contact James Elliot on